Afro Yaqui Music CollectiveThursday, October 24, 2019 @ 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Join us for an evening of global freedom music with the award-winning revolutionary jazz ensemble The Afro Yaqui Music Collective performing Mirror Butterfly: The Migrant Liberation Movement Suite, and poetry by Magdalena Gómez’s Erased: A Poetic Imagining on the Life of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg.
The Afro Yaqui Music Collective is a postcolonial big band which imagines a world where many worlds fit. The band is part of the legacy of the Asian-American composer-activist Fred Ho, and their music draws from mainstream jazz, the avant-garde, and traditional forms from both Africa, East Asia, and American Indigenous nations. At times aggressive and caustic, it is deeply engaged in ongoing struggles for social justice and revolution. The collective is a site of several intercultural and transnational collaborations, working with musicians, poets and dramaturgs from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Chicago, Brooklyn, Wisconsin, and Pittsburgh.
AYMC is co-led by Gizelxanath Rodriguez, a Mexican operatic vocalist and cellist of Yaqui indigenous descent who is an internationally performing soprano and activist, and the recipient of a 2014 Latin ACE Award. Gizelxanath co-leads the band with her partner, Ben Barson, a composer and baritone saxophinst who recently won the Johnny Mandel Prize, the highest honor in jazz composition, from ASCAP.
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, was a historian, writer, and activist. Schomburg was a Puerto Rican of African and German descent who moved to the United States and researched and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society at large.
Bronx born Boricua, Magdalena Gómez, is the current Poet Laureate of Springfield, the third largest city in Massachusetts. Her poems and plays have been published and performed in the U.S. and abroad since 1976.
Gizelxanath Rodriguez – Voice and Electric Cello
Yang Jin — Pipa
Ben Barson — Baritone Sax
Ben Opie — Alto Sax
Roger Romero — Tenor Sax
Samuel Okoh-Boateng – Piano
Beni Rossman – Bass
Hugo Macaho Cruz — Drums
Jason Gordon — Voice
Kelsey Robinson – Voice / Acting
Hope Anthony — Voice / Acting
Sydnee Turner — Voice / Acting
Alec Redd — Voice / Acting
Magdalena Gómez — Director, Playwirght, & Poet